The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 was the first comprehensive federal law to provide for the protection of trafficking victims and the prosecution of traffickers within the United States. This law aims to combat trafficking into and within the United States of America through the prevention of trafficking through public awareness, the protection of victims through the provision of a variety of supports, and the prosecution of traffickers by establishing trafficking as a federal crime with severe penalties.
The National Center on Missing and Exploited Children estimates that the number of 10-17 year olds being trafficked for sex in the United States each year likely exceeds 250,000; 60% of these victims are runaway, throwaway, or homeless youth*. This does not include the thousands of youth being trafficked each year for purposes of labor. Traffickers often target homeless shelters and schools as recruiting grounds for new trafficking victims. As such, it is imperative that schools and providers of services to homeless and other at-risk youth be aware of the issue and understand how to respond.
Read Guidance to States and Services on Addressing Human Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children, Youth and Families)